This article is a slightly re-written assignment I had to write for my Certficate in Sustainable Energy Solutions at Pinchot University. Hope you will like it !
I like Treehugger for coming up with great designs that could change a bit the world we are living in. One of their latest finds was a natural air conditioner that uses clay and evaporation.
As Treehugger noted : ” Thibault Faverie‘s Cold Pot is a natural and simple air conditioner that uses clay and the power of evaporation to cool down temperatures in a low-tech energy-efficient fashion. “
Coupled with more efficient houses and buildings – a solution that would tackle our energy and climate problems – this invention could curb the use of climate damaging A/C.
My time out for the past two weeks in southern France was the occasion for me to think a bit about energy and environmental issues as I was experiencing stuff I have been writing about on this blog.
Exemplifying with day-to-day and real-life examples is a fantastic opportunity to see how stuff just works. From LED lights to trees and from solar to building insulation, these are topics that are very general.
I will share these thoughts with you in today’s article and I hope you will find them enlightening. I look forward to reading your thoughts.
To Climate Progress, Swiss researchers working with IBM ” have built a new solar dish, called the High Concentration PhotoVoltaic Thermal system (HCPVT) that tackles the waste heat problem by using it to generate fresh water.”
Yep, a solar installation that generates fresh water, thus solving two common problems faced in developing nations around the world. Icing on the cake, it could also be used for air conditioning.
If all this wasn’t enough, IBM believes this could be cheaper than comparable solar systems, less than $10 cent per kilowatt hour. Talk about genius !
Today is the second part of my “Plant, baby, plant ” series started last week with agroforestry. We shall delve here on urban forestry and its many advantages. Next week we shall conclude by the Billion Tree Campaign.
As we have seen, planting trees among farming fields and gardens provide many advantages. But what about planting trees in our cities ? With more than half of the world population dwelling in cities nowadays, the question is important.
This will even be more the case in the future as – to the United Nations – 7 out of 10 people are expected to live in cities in 2050.
The increasing number of air conditioning appliances – and overall electricity demand – in India had presumably a huge consequence as yesterday, 600 million people went without electricity for several hours.
As the New York Times noted : ” The world’s largest blackout ever crippled roughly half of India for a second consecutive day on Tuesday, sending officials scrambling for an explanation. “
” The power failure spread across 22 of the country’s 28 states, an area whose population is nearly 700 million, almost 10 percent of the world’s population.“
As the planet is warming and as more and more people can afford it, air conditioning is becoming more and more widespread. This wouldn’t be a problem if A/C weren’t emitting greenhouse gases. To the NY Times : ” The leading scientists have just calculated that if all the equipment entering the world market uses … Read more
To CleanTechies : ” The increased use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in the production of refrigerators, air conditioners, and other products could play a significant role in accelerating global warming “
The United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) study notes that the projected emissions of HFCs by 2050 could equal nine billion tons of carbon dioxide — or about one-third of current CO2 emissions.
HFCs were introduced in the 1990s to replace chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were a threat to the ozone layer. So, this was a good idea with a strong downside.
Air conditioning is a fantastic invention as it allows to remain cool when temperatures are reaching 30°C and even 40°C. However, in many buildings around the world, the A/C is not set at the right temperature. As the New York times noted :
“Without fail, every year since moving to Hong Kong, I get a really bad cold. (…) “Oh, it’s quite common this time of year,” my doctor told me. “Everyone gets sick.” He was referring to the time of year that Hong Kong cranks up its air-conditioning. “
I have read that the same situation occurs in Singapore. I have witnessed it first hand in Europe as well. Others have told me about such a situation in America. This is a widespread phenomenon.
Indeed, to the MIT Technology Review, the NREL have created ” a new air-conditioner design that (…) will dramatically increase efficiency and eliminate gases that contribute to global warming. “
Using indirect evaporative cooling, and desiccants this invention would use up to 90 percent less energy and wouldn’t need CFCs to operate.
As Eurobserv’ER published a market barometer for heat pumps I thought it might be the occasion to have a look at this most interesting and promising technology which already accounts for nearly 9 GW th of capacity in Europe.
With over 100,000 systems installed every year throughout the European Union, heat pumps can both heat and cool houses or buildings in an efficient and environmentally friendly way.
With ten percent of growth the market already represents 780,000 systems installed in the 27 country-members. No doubt it will continue to expand.
In these times of heat waves – it was 37°C here in France yesterday – we all know that solar energy can heat places but it seems the sun could also cool them down thanks to air conditioning. Even if this is not entirely new as I read about such technologies as early as 2005 … Read more